On the Record | WYPR

On the Record

At the Strong City Baltimore Stoop Storytelling show two months ago, Sophia Garber shared her experience about coming to Baltimore, making friends, and sticking with it against all odds.

Check out the Stoop podcast and info about Stoop events here.

Baltimore Department of Planning

The nonprofit Strong City Baltimore is offering dozens of workshops tomorrow, where hundreds of activists can network and learn skills for a better community. Rev. Eric Lee is the primary organizer of the 11th annual Neighborhood Institute. He tells us about the opportunities for community organizers to build their skills.

Plus, some panels draw on the experience of young leaders. We hear from Mercedes Thompson and Claire Wayner, who co-founded the “Baltimore Beyond Plastics” movement.

Baltimore Department of Planning

Baltimore is pockmarked by thousands of abandoned homes and empty lots. What effect do vacant properties have on health? What can the city do to transform blight into inviting outdoor spaces?

Former state secretary of health, Joshua Sharfstein, points to research that measures how blight raises stress levels.

And Stephanie Smith, Assistant Director for Equity, Engagement, and Communications for the city Planning Department, describes a plan to turn vacant properties into parks, playgrounds, and trails.

City Lit Project

The 15th annual City Lit Festival Saturday, April 14, will include scores of sessions for writers and for readers. City Lit Project director Carla Du Pree gives highlights, which range from stories about motherhood and racial, gender and socioeconomic “passing” to one-on-one editing sessions with established writers and a master class with poet Yrsa Daley-Ward about fearlessly writing your truth.  Then keynote speaker Phillip Gourevitch talks about his upcoming book on what the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide teaches about memory, forgetting and hiding.

Charm City Bluegrass Festival

Bluegrass music is often described as an amalgam of Appalachian mountain music, folk music, country music and even jazz. It turns out that Baltimore’s music scene played prominently in the birth of bluegrass.  We meet Phil Chorney, CEO and Founder of the ‘Charm City Bluegrass Festival’ and Baltimore Management Agency and Adam Kirr, the festival’s chief marketing officer to give us highlights of the event.

Also, Tim Newby, author of the book: “Bluegrass in Baltimore: The Hard Drivin' Sound and Its Legacy” explains bluegrass music's deep roots in Baltimore.

For information about the Charm City Bluegrass Festival, check out this link.

To view the festival documentary, visit this link.

Smythe Richbourg/Creative Commons

The General Assembly has a little more 14 hours to solve some thorny legislative issues that have eluded compromise for months. For example, the crushing wave of homicides in Baltimore, or the new industry being created around medical marijuana. And, is the state legislature going to demand changes in safety features in public schools? We find out how this last day looks to two political analysts who have kept their eyes on the legislature for years. Barry Rascovar writes for the blog Political Maryland. Charles Robinson is a political reporter for State Circle on Maryland Public Television. 

Here’s a Stoop Story from Jen Matsumoto about going hiking after Maryland’s 2010 'snowmaggedon'.

You can hear her story and many others at stoopstorytelling.com, as well as the Stoop podcast.

Rails to Trails Conservancy Facebook page

Dust off your bicycle, pull on your hiking boots! Tomorrow the nonprofit Rails to Trails Conservancy is hosting its annual ‘Opening Day for Trails,’ a chance for outdoor enthusiasts to explore the Jones Falls trail and celebrate nature.

**Due to weather, the walking and bike tours have been postponed. The gathering at Union Brewery at noon is still on.**

Jim Brown, manager of trail development, tells us about the festivities planned and describes how a coalition of community groups and city agencies are working to create a loop of easily accessible trails around Baltimore. The goal: to bridge the gaps between neighborhoods and to re-purpose abandoned land.

Learn about the Baltimore Greenway Trails Network here.

Elvert Barnes / Flickr via Creative Commons

Fifty million dollars: that’s how much Baltimore will pay police officers this year in overtime. Mark Reutter, reporter for The Baltimore Brew, delved into the records and found that police overtime soared by two-thirds from 2012 to 2017. Examining individual salaries revealed thousands of dollars in overtime pay to officers who do little street patrol or work desk jobs in specialized units.

Read the series, "Overtime Abuse at the BPD" here.

Warren K. Leffler, U.S. News & World Report collection at the US Library of Congress

Fifty years ago today the landscape of race relations in America changed in a single tragic instant, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.

Rev. Stephen Tillett, president of the Anne Arundel branch of the NAACP and pastor at Asbury-Broadneck United Methodist Church and Rev. Lauren Jones of Reid Temple AME Church in Glenn Dale, discuss why Dr. King’s last months focused on economic justice and why his Poor People’s Campaign is still painfully relevant today.

Find information about Tillett's book, "Stop Falling for the Okey Doke" here.

Read Jones' blog Throw Up and Theology, here.

Learn more about today's Poor People's Campaign, here.

Ann Froschauer / US Fish and Wildlife Service

Bats get a bad rap, but they play a pivotal role in nature---they devour insects and their furry bodies can spread pollen. Bats make up one fourth of all mammal species.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources ecologist Daniel Feller tells us about the devastation caused by the fungal disease White Nose Syndrome, which has killed millions of bats in North America. How is this disease spread?

Read more about White Nose Syndrome here:

DNR Bats and Diseases page
M
aryland's Bat Caves

And Dr. Kirsten Bohn, researcher at Johns Hopkins’ “Bat Communication Lab,” decodes the sounds bats make. You can hear more from Dr. Bohn at Bat Night! at Patapsco State Valley Park on April 21st. 

Pixabay MabelAmber/1928 Images

There’s a lot of evidence that social isolation hurts the elderly. Zach Leverenz, vice president of Impact Areas at the AARP Foundation, talks with us about a pilot program using voice-activated technology to combat loneliness for seniors. We also meet Lisa Budlow, vice president of aging in community at The Associated’s Comprehensive Housing Assistance, Inc. CHAI'S clients are testing out the technology, and Weinberg Woods resident Edith Yankelov, 87, talks about her experience taking part in the project.

Here's a Stoop story by Janet Stephens, about how her passion for hair and archeology have come together. You can hear her story and many others at stoopstorytelling.com, as well as the Stoop podcast.

Johns Hopkins University - Sheridan Library website

‘Devouring a book’ takes on new meaning at the International Edible Book Festivals taking place around town. We meet organizers Heidi Herr , a librarian at Johns Hopkins University and Aaron Blickenstaff, Access Services Manager at MICA’s Decker Library. 

You can learn more about MICA's Edible Book Festival here.

Johns Hopkins Edible Book Festival information is here.

Towson University Book Festival information is here.

Johns Hopkins University website

Johns Hopkins University's quest for authority to set up a police force of sworn, armed officers is getting the attention of civic leaders, students and neighbors. JHU president Ronald Daniels tells us why he considers it urgent and  Andrea Fraser, a Hopkins graduate student calls it premature. David Tedjeske, from the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators and director of public safety at Villanova University in Pennsylvana, weighs in on national campus security trends.

AP Photo by Wilfredo Lee

Since the Columbine school shooting 19 years ago, tens of thousands of other students have cringed in corners or cowered in closets during other shootings or drills. What traumas do they carry? How should parents talk to them? After the fatal shooting in St. Mary’s County, the Mental Health Association of Maryland posted talking points to help that communication. We hear about those talking points from Senior Program Officer Lea Ann Browning-McNee. We also hear from Loyola University Maryland clinical professor Gayle Cicero, of the School of Education, about the changing skills school counselors need.

You can find the link to MHAMD talking points for parents, here.

Jason Ramirez attended a new school almost every year of his childhood. Bouncing around from apartments to shelters to the homes of relatives because his parents - both addicted to heroin - could not give him and his sisters a stable home. But, once he set his sights on becoming a doctor, he was locked onto that dream.

Today Dr. Jason Ramirez is a family-medicine physician and faculty member at the University of Maryland medical school. In his memoir, “The Hard Way: A Doctor’s Fight Against Addiction, Poverty, and Depression". He explains how witnessing his parents’ drug use taught him to empathize with patients who struggle with addiction.

Carrie Wells / MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center

Between 10 and 20 percent of pregnancies end in a miscarriage. Yet, many families feel they have to grieve silently.

We hear from two women working to comfort families mourning a baby. Maria Mosca--who lost her daughter, Lucia May, last spring--tells us where she turned for support.

And nurse Terri Zeman, who started the perinatal bereavement program at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center decades ago, tells us how the hospital helps families grieve the baby they didn’t get to take home.

marylandday.org

A knowledge of history leads to a better understanding of the present and, perhaps, insight into the future. Our guests today understand the power in that. We talk with Phoebe Stein, executive director of Maryland Humanities to learn about Maryland History Day, a statewide competition for middle- and high-school students to bring a favorite history lesson to life. And we also meet David Armenti, director of education at the Maryland Historical Society, who tells us why it’s worth our time to remember Maryland Day, this Sunday, March 25.

For information on Maryland Day events around the state, check out this link.

Interested in being a judge for Maryland History Day? Visit this link.

Here's a Stoop story from Hannah Feldman, about her encounters of the 'Merlin' kind. You can hear her story and others at stoopstorytelling.com or on the Stoop podcast.

Target

There are many ways to enjoy the great outdoors in Maryland … from mountains to ocean, and from forest to stream. Our guest today is dedicated to helping enthusiasts discover new adventures and learn more about the geography, flora and fauna that await. Biologist and naturalist Bryan MacKay walks us through his three new guidebooks: Cycle Maryland, Hike Maryland and Paddle Maryland. Whether you’re novice or seasoned, MacKay urges you to get out of the car and go into the wild.

Patrick Daniels

Baltimore City College, the third oldest public school in the country, is also home to a venerable debate team. Alumnus Gil Sandler, class of ‘41, describes how the art of debate has changed since his time on the team.

Cassie Doyle-Hines

There’s a revolution afoot, and it’s being fueled by high school students across the country who are discovering the power of political engagement. Galvanized by the tragedy in Parkville, Florida at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead last month, students across the country have staged rallies and walkouts demanding stricter gun laws and an end to gun violence. Saturday, March 24, is a focus of much of the organizing--the ‘March for Our Lives’ in Washington DC. Hundreds of thousands of young people and families from all parts of the US are expected -- demanding their voices be heard.

We talk with Park School of Baltimore Freshman Liza Sheehy, senior class president Mahey Gheis and Rommel Loria director of civic engagement and service learning about what students in their school are doing to engage politically.

We also meet Ericka Alston Buck, founder of Kids Safe Zone, who will travel to the march in D.C. with a fleet of buses full of high school students, organized by Mayor Catherine Pugh. Finally, we speak with Michaela Hoenig, a senior at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, who has organized lodging for hundreds of students and families attending the March For Our Lives.

To sign up for FREE bus rides to the rally from Baltimore, visit this link: Baltimore and Beyond March for Our Lives Rally Tickets.

WYPR

New cuts in federal income taxes would raise state taxes, unless the legislature takes action. We ask the vice chair of the Senate’s tax committee, Rich Madaleno, why the Senate voted to increase the standard deduction than every taxpayer can claim. 

Here’s a Stoop Story from Matt Hayat about finding his place in the deaf community.

You can hear his story and many others at stoopstorytelling.com, as well as the Stoop podcast.

Flour Power

Mar 16, 2018
Maryland Historical Society

The opportunity to tell one’s story can be empowering. Especially for those who think they don’t have a voice … or believe that others aren’t interested in what they have to say. We meet Johns Hopkins film student Amelia Voos along with illustrator and educator Jonathan Scott Fuqua ... they’ve been working with 8th-grade students at Morrell Park Middle School, to teach them the skills of telling their personal stories through video. Their films will be screened March 22 at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. More info here.

Baltimore Police Department

A crisis hotline, mobile teams that travel to residents in distress - just some of the services provided by the nonprofit Baltimore Crisis Response, Inc.

Executive director Edgar Wiggins describes how BCRI helps city residents living with mental illness or substance abuse. And how they train police to recognize the symptoms of mental illness and de-escalate stressful situations.

The 24-hour crisis hotline number is 410-433-5175.

Rales Center for the Integration of Health and Education

Inadequate health care--or NO health care--can keep a pupil chronically out of school. The Rales Health Center and wellness programs inside KIPP Academies in Baltimore are in place to help combat that scenario.  The initiative is sponsored by the The Ruth and Norman Rales Center for the Integration of Health and Education and Johns Hopkins University Medical School. We hear about the impact it has on the classroom from teacher Carina Wells, and medical director Dr. Kate Connor explains why the effort has such a big impact in the KIPP community.

Gunpowder Valley Conservancy

As spring approaches and the weather warms, it’s time to go outside and reconnect with nature.

Robert Cook, master gardener for the Baltimore City branch of the University of Maryland Extension shares tips on planning and planting year-round vegetable gardens. Info for the March 21st event on edible gardens here. More on soil testing here.

And Peggy Perry, of the nonprofit Gunpowder Valley Conservancy, tells us about volunteer efforts in Baltimore County to keep streams clear of trash and riverbeds strong. Info on the March 17th adopt-a-stream training here.

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